Many of us thought John Kerry might have been inspired as secretary of state when he discovered that his two paternal grandparents in Europe were Jewish, having changed their name from Kohn to Kerry to survive as the clouds of war gathered. So far he has shown himself to be insensitive to Israel's problems. When he observed that "there's an increasing delegitimization campaign" building against Israel, it sounded like he was pressuring Israel into making damaging concessions to the Palestinians, who won't even recognize Israel's right to exist.
Later, after taking heat from Israel's friends at home -- including many Christians -- he said he was merely making an "observation." He could have acknowledged that the academic boycott of Israel's educational institutions was inspired by "a rising tide of anti-Semitism," as amply documented by the State Department two years ago. The American Left, with its intellectual posturing, moral preening and ivy-encrusted elitism, joins the chorus, painting the Palestinians as "victims" and the daily threats to Israel's existence as "illusory."
Where is the acknowledgement of the boycotters that Israel has agreed to Mr. Kerry's framework for negotiations? Where is the acknowledgment that Palestinians refused to make a deal which would have given them a state in the West Bank long ago? Where is the acknowledgement that Ariel Sharon led Israel out of specific Gaza settlements that Israel won in the 1967 war imposed on them? The rewards for the Israelis were rockets into their villages, launched from the very territory Mr. Sharon and his armies vacated.
Moshe Dayan, in a requiem for a young soldier killed patrolling the Israeli-Gaza border, told Israelis in 1956 that they must be "ready, armed, tough and hard" if they want to plant a tree or build a house.
The Israeli peace movement does not understand the need for toughness, because it refuses to believe the oft-stated intentions of armed and dangerous Arab enemies to destroy Israel and overlooks the consistent and persistent intractability of the Palestinians, who don't want to share territory because they think they can wear down the Israelis -- with the help of gullibles in the West -- and take it all. To those who remember the past, this sounds ominously familiar.